Illini grade vs. Alabama State: A

Illini grade vs. Alabama State: A

PLAYER OF THE GAME
Rayvonte Rice, Illinois. The local product played like a guy who has waited most of his life for the chance to play at Illinois, scoring a team-high 22 points to go along with nine rebounds.

BACKCOURT
Illinois A
Alabama State B

Rice got it going early while Joseph Bertrand (14 points, eight rebounds) and Tracy Abrams (nine points, five rebounds) chipped in, too.

FRONTCOURT
Illinois B
Alabama State D

Nnanna Egwu’s double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds) was a nice way to start the season and the big man added a couple of blocks, too. Jon Ekey grabbed four boards but struggled with his shot.

BENCH
Illinois B
Alabama State C

The young guys showed flashes of brilliance but got a little sloppy with their play late. Freshman Malcolm Hill led the charge with seven points and six rebounds.

OVERALL
Illinois A
Alabama State C

The Illini did what they were supposed to against a SWAC opponent on opening night. Now the trick is to bounce back Sunday and do the same thing against OVC foe Jacksonville State.